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Online going offline: Why online fashion retailers expand through an offline strategy
University of Borås, Faculty of Textiles, Engineering and Business.
University of Borås, Faculty of Textiles, Engineering and Business.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

During the previous years there has been a lot of focus on e-commerce in the fashion and clothing industry and that everything will be bought online in the future. However, several e-commerce companies have decided to expand into offline retail. This dissimilarity between theory and reality creates an interest for further research and a curiosity of how the future within retail will develop. The purpose of this research is to understand why Swedish online fashion retailers expand through an offline strategy. An Expansion Theme Model, which emerged from the theoretical framework, is used throughout the research to create a cohesive presentation of the material. In this research two case studies were conducted with e-commerce companies that are moving towards offline retail, one that is planning to open their own offline store and the other that is selling to external offline retailers. The findings present the reasons for expanding into offline retail according to the respondents in the two cases. Two reasons that were discussed in both cases were to enhance the brand image and use offline retailing as a marketing tool to reach a larger customer group and ultimately enhance the company’s profit. The findings present several problems within each case that can be solved by expanding into offline retail. The first problem is about suppliers that protect offline retailers. The second problem is about how to reach the minimum quantities that the suppliers require. The third problem is how to achieve a better negotiation power with the suppliers. The fourth problem discusses the challenge of displaying products online. The view of the future within retail is also presented, where all of the respondents agreed that the two selling channels will be more integrated in the future. Finally, the transition towards offline retail creates many new possibilities in the world of retail that is yet undiscovered and it is therefore exciting to follow this development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Online retail, offline retail, e-commerce, business expansion, market strategy, organizational cohesiveness, returns management, case study approach
National Category
Humanities Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-701OAI: diva2:852473
Subject / course
Fashion management
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2015-09-25 Created: 2015-09-09 Last updated: 2015-09-25Bibliographically approved

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